The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, a program of West Virginia University, announced today (March 22) that initial grading of the site and ground work has begun for a new hydrogen fueling station in Morgantown, the first in the state and only the 10th nationally.

WVU will demonstrate the efficiency of running automobiles on hydrogen fuel made from coal-powered electricity – a step that could help break America’s dependence on imported oil, use coal in an environmentally-sound manner, and keep the Mountain State at the forefront of another evolving energy industry.

The project includes the development and installation of equipment to produce and dispense hydrogen fuel along with a detailed testing and evaluation program, using five hydrogen-powered vehicles to study the feasibility of using hydrogen in internal combustion engines in different operating environments.

“Hydrogen is being used as a fuel for passenger vehicles,” said Bill Davis, acting NAFTC director. “Several vehicle manufacturers, such as Honda, Toyota and GM are using it in fuel cells to power electric motors. Our study will be testing its use in internal combustion engines. Hydrogen is currently only available at a few locations nationwide, mostly in California, so making it available in West Virginia will put us at the forefront of a relatively new industry.

“The effort is unique in that it will support obtaining hydrogen fuel by using domestic fossil energy,” Davis noted. “It is likely that in the long term, hydrogen will either be produced from coal, or coal will provide the electricity necessary for the production of hydrogen via electrolysis. Obviously, as a coal-powered state, this could be significant to West Virginia and could make our state a national leader in the use of hydrogen.”

Located near the WVU Bicentennial House on Mileground Road in Morgantown, the hydrogen fuel dispensing station will use a modular layout and an open architecture.

The completion of the project is projected for mid-summer.

NAFTC is the only alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle training organization in the U.S. It provides training infrastructure for implementing widespread use of alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicles and advanced technology vehicles in an effort focused on increasing America’s energy security, lessening its dependence on petroleum and improving air quality by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation systems.

NAFTC has national training centers from Maine to California. Each one provides “Training with Impact” through its experienced instructors and real world shop facilities. Including a current group of 50 higher education institutions, NAFTC is dedicated to informing and educating instructors, students, technicians, first responders, industry representatives, fleet managers, and other interested groups about clean, cost-effective and energy efficient vehicles.

-WVU-

jm/03/22/13

CONTACT: Judy Moore, National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium
304.293.7882 (o), 304.669.4870; (m); Judy.Moore@mail.wvu.edu

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.

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